Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Collision of Prayer and Politics

My email inbox was a flurry of excitement toward the end of last week.  State Sen. Eleanor Sobel, a South Florida Democrat and chair of the chamber's Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee, was going to schedule her bill to establish a statewide Domestic Partnership Registry for a hearing.  This would be the first time in five years the measure even gets on the docket of a committee.

Quick: call your state Senator!   Write an email!  Let's make this happen!

Domestic partnership registries are the new "in" thing for us in Florida.  After all, our state constitution bans lesbians and gays from marrying their life partners.  These registries are meant to give those who are currently considered roommates under the law something that they can have in case of an emergency hospitalization or death or imprisonment.  Not exactly the stuff that wedding dreams are made of, but we have take what we can get.

Sadly, though, we can even get a domestic partnership registry.   Too many questions about what would be the effect of this bill, given our state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, and whether there are expiration dates on these domestic partnerships (I kid you not: that was a question!) all got the bill mired in the typical legislative muck that led the sponsor to table the bill. 

And the session doesn't even really begin until next month and already one of the bills we were hoping to see passed this year appears headed for the gutter.  Welcome to my world.

In leading Morning Prayer today, the words of Psalm 119 struck me as appropriate:

Remember your word to your servant, *
because you have given me hope.

Your statutes have been like songs to me *
wherever I have lived as a stranger.

Though the cords of the wicked entangle me, *
I do not forget your law.

The psalmist could have been writing for my LGBT times!  The psalm goes on...

The proud have smeared me with lies, *
but I will keep your commandments with my whole heart.

Their heart is gross and fat, *
but my delight is in your law.

So often in these past five+ years, I have taken comfort in the words of Scripture, especially the psalms.  The cry of the psalmist in 119 is like one who is living in a world of oppression and fear while keeping true to the reality that is the grace of God.  It's a difficult place to live into, this place of faith amidst a "just the facts, ma'am" world.  But it is the way that I have come to live because I feel it, deep within me, that the stupidity and cruelness of this world dominated by "the proud" will not endure until the end.  And so patiently I pray on...

The law of your mouth is dearer to me *
than thousands in gold and silver.

Amen to that.


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